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Students present pieces in SMC Monologues

Danielle Lerner | Monday, February 28, 2005

Members of the Saint Mary’s College community spoke out this weekend with a presentation of SMC Monologues, an effort to end the silence surrounding violence against women. The event, compiled from anonymously submitted pieces from students, faculty and Sisters of the Holy Cross, entertained nearly 500 people and raised over $1,000 for the SOS Rape Crisis Center of St. Joseph County.While the inspiration behind SMC Monologues stems from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, this year’s event catered specifically to members of the Saint Mary’s community. The monologues told stories regarding sexual violence, sexuality and what it means to be a woman.”The fact that people at this school experienced these things really opened my eyes to what women face,” said junior Nicole Kusack. “You always hear these stories and never think it will happen to you or those around you, but this event really put a face to the issues of violence and sexuality.”Many students felt that the SMC Monologues brought the issue of violence against women into the forefront of women’s minds.”The way they presented them [the monologues] really made you think about relationships in general,” said junior Kristin Vokaty. “It was really an eye-opening experience and really makes me realize that these things happen everywhere.”Many audience members were unsure of what to expect from the performance.”I was a bit nervous going into it because I didn’t know what my reaction would be,” said Vokaty. “Overall, it just makes you think about real people’s experiences and the reality of these serious issues.”The Monologues were met with support from students and administration, Ginger Francis, president of Campus Alliance for Rape Elimination (C.A.R.E) said.”It was an emotional rollercoaster, but one that needed to take place,” said Francis. “We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback, and I feel it really brought people closer together.”Although the future of the SMC Monologues is still unknown, there has been interest in publishing the pieces of this weekend’s performances.”There has been an overwhelming response to publish the monologues,” said Francis. “They really show how amazing Saint Mary’s women are; they are intelligent, beautiful and passionate.”An upcoming open panel discussion will allow members of the community to express their own opinions and give feedback to those involved. “So many people were really impressed and happy with how it turned out,” said Francis. “It’s so hard to put the experience into words. It was bigger and better than I could have ever dreamt for.”